Texas Service Center Still Denying Advance Parole Applications Based on Overseas Travel30 Oct 2017
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Texas Service Center (TSC) is still denying advance parole (AP) applications (form I-131) for applicants who travel abroad before their AP applications are approved. As previously reported, this is contrary to the longstanding practice by the USCIS to allow international travel while an I-131 is pending, as long as the applicant has some other means of being readmitted to the United States, such as an existing, unexpired AP or an H1B visa.
Background: NSC Revises Position after Murthy Takes Action
In August 2017, MurthyDotCom cautioned stakeholders about a recent trend in which the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had begun denying AP applications for applicants who traveled while their applications were still pending. More details on this sudden and unannounced change in practice by the USCIS is available in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, USCIS Denying Advance Parole Applications Based on Overseas Travel (10.Aug.2017).
In a follow-up NewsBrief, Murthy Takes Action: NSC Agrees to Stop Denying Advance Parole Applications Based on Overseas Travel (25.Aug.2017), it was reported that the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) had agreed to cease this practice. It was further noted, however, that the Murthy Law Firm had yet to hear back from the other USCIS service centers on this matter.
TSC Still Denying I-131s Based on International Travel
Since then, attorneys at the Murthy Law Firm have seen several AP denials issued by the TSC based on applicants who were traveling internationally while their respective applications were pending. There have been similar reports from other members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Given that the NSC has stopped this practice, it seems clear that this is not a national directive by the USCIS. It therefore is disconcerting to see the TSC continue to deny these cases.
The Murthy Law Firm, AILA, and other stakeholders continue to pressure the TSC to cease their denials of these AP applications. In the meantime, however, AP applicants are cautioned against international travel while their AP applications are pending, especially in cases filed with the TSC.
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